Agora Microfinance Zambia achieves significant milestones as 2020 comes to a close

While 2020 has been a tumultuous year, we are still pleased to report that AMZ, our affiliate in Zambia, has delivered strong results despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.  After a period of lock-down during April-June in Zambia, economic activity has slowly picked up and it has allowed AMZ to recover much of the lost ground and stay in line with its own plans and goals for 2020.

During the year AMZ has opened six new branches, with the latest expansion of two branches taking place during September.  With this, AMZ now has a network of 20 branches covering most of the provinces of the country, barring the Eastern province (planned for 2021).  New branches this year were established in diverse locations such as Choma in the South, to Mbala and Kawambwa in the North.  The map below shows the overall AMZ network of branches as of October 2020 .

Another significant milestone that was achieved during October 2020, was the growth of the loan book that surpassed ZMW 100 million.  Beginning the year at a gross loan book of ZMW 72 million, this already represents a strong 40% growth in a year that saw a COVID-19 related slowdown in Q2 of the year.  Its loan book now represents outstanding loan clients numbering in excess of 70,000.

While the microfinance industry does not yet share data amongst its members, based on published information from other key MFIs, we believe that unofficially this establishes AMZ as the largest Zambian MFI, both in client numbers as well as its loan book.

Another significant milestone for the year has been the graduation of information systems at AMZ, specifically the shift of its core banking system to Musoni.  While the new system is not fully stable yet, it is expected to be so before year-end, and will enable AMZ to integrate its loan book with its accounting system while also providing a deposit/savings module in the future.